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Solid mid-season finale. I especially liked how an overconfident Rumple had his *ss handed to him by Belle, and Regina's willingness to do the right thing was rewarded with friendship & love. My goodness, Henry is growing up! He looks more mature with each passing episode. I have no idea who they have in mind for an author/sorcerer who is more powerful than Rumple. But, hopefully they can fulfill heightened expectations the longer this mystery continues. The one element that is disappointing is Will Scarlett's role. Why was he even brought on if he's just going to be wallpaper?

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Well, I'm a female. I don't like "shipping" characters without a good reason. And, I don't want Skye & Ward together because he's a murderous creep. He can go right ahead & sacrifice everything for her. She deserves it after what HYDRA did to her family. And after what Ward helped HYDRA do to SHIELD, he can grovel at Coulson & Company's feet for all I care. He. Will. Never. Redeem. Himself. That doesn't, however, mean he isn't good to look at while playing an obsessive SHIELD wannabee. In fact, that's really the ultimate punishment for him - to never again be a trusted "good guy" like he was for that brief, shining moment. To be on the outside looking in, never trusted, always doubted & scorned - it's the perfect purgatory for someone who had it all & threw it away for HYDRA, an organization he really didn't care about. What a waste!

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Liked the episode. But, was confused over Ingrid's sudden, "Oh, my sister DID love me!" conversion. When she touched the letter & remembered their childhood, it was like the audience was being told she had forgotten all of that when the trolls cast their amnesia spell on kingdom. But, since she clearly remembered that she had sisters, I didn't think the spell affected her memory. Did the troll spell really affect her that way? It's the only way I will accept her change of heart, which was just too quick & complete IMO for her self-sacrifice. After pursuing Emma & Elsa with dogged determination for decades & for most of the episode, it such a whiplash change that troll magic would explain a lot of the pain she caused.

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We should remember what the Doctor did in Season 1 though that made him the season's Big Bad. Mike Peterson's life was completely ruined, in the same way Hydra ruined the Doctor's life. The Doctor tore him from his son & literally turned him into a monster. Skye won't forgive that so easy. Who knows what else he's done to people in the past 20+ years w/Hydra? He became like just Whitehall in order to get back at Whitehall. Skye's mother would probably find that objectionable.

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One point that isn't clear to me is whether the Doctor knows, or even cares, that it was Hydra who raided the village; not SHIELD. He seems to hold both responsible even though viewers realize it was Hydra that had the Diviner in its sites back in WWII. SHIELD/Coulson still has no idea that Skye's mother was the purpose of the raid & the reason that Hydra tore her family apart. And, the Doctor isn't telling. As for Ward...ultimately, his alliances lie with himself. He's going to do his best to help Skye find answers & get retribution. But, he isn't going to ally himself permanently with any group that could end him. He'll be that rogue character on the fringe that everyone hates, but sometimes needs in a pinch.

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Last thought, not random. KYLE MACHLACHLAN knocks it out of the part as the Doctor. How great is his dialogue in the scene with Coulson? I loved the self-referential nature of it..."It's exciting, isn't it? Two parties, racing to a temple to see what's inside....life and death, passion, EMOTIONS! And, my little girl is going to be at the center of it all." He's a fantastic actor. I'm watching him on THE GOOD WIFE in a recurring role, and he's a completely different personality. They might even age him with makeup on AoS because on TGW, the guy is still as handsome as he was on TWIN PEAKS, almost 2 decades ago.

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FAN-TASTIC! You know an episode is great when answers to questions just bring up more questions, and you can't wait to see the answers in ANOTHER episode. Whedonites probably knew the young woman who activated the Obelisk was important since the actress, Dichen Lachman, has been in other Whedon productions, most notably DOLLHOUSE. But, the reveal at the end of Skye's mother being the answer to 3 separate plot points - Skye's origin story, Whitehall's perpetual youth, & the Obelisk's purpose - was heartbreaking & brilliant. You'd think that after watching nearly every episode of CSI & BONES, a person would be immune to certain scenes. But, watching Whitehall literally pick the poor woman apart while alive, harvesting what he could from her, just turned my stomach. UGH...I look forward to watching Skye & her father get retribution for that. Some random thoughts...1) I liked seeing Peggy Carter. But, her part was the weakest of the whole episode. Her decision to keep Whitehall alive dooms the future of SHIELD, and her reasoning for it is not laid out well at all. The only thing that makes sense is that the Nuremberg Trials don't exist in Marvel Universe WWII history. If they had, SHIELD would have handed someone like him (human experimentation?!?!) over to the tribunal, and he would have been executed. 2) Ward's parents might have been Hydra, if they are as diabolical as the two brothers make them out to be. I still think Brother #3, Timothy, is out there waiting to resurface somewhere. The parents & Christian are dead. His body was identified, and he wasn't a spy. There would be no purpose in Christian faking his death because he's too well-known to go undercover in Hydra, & he didn't have anything they wanted. But, Ward is infiltrating Hydra to make up for what they did to Skye's family. And, I thought I saw a little beard stubble on Grant's final shot, meaning he's going bad again...but for good reasons.

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Once Upon a Time Review: Smash the Mirror

I had another random thought - why didn't Ingrid just open the urn & release Elsa after she froze Arendelle if she wanted another sister so badly?

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Once Upon a Time Review: Smash the Mirror

Well, once a character gets a "happy ending," they usually aren't seen again. Aurora, Abigail, Cinderella, the Mad Hatter, August/Pinocchio - their stories are done. They were reunited with those they loved & their futures are secure. The ones we should be seeing are Red, the dwarves, Tinker Bell, Sidney/Mirror - characters who were left hanging. Snow & Charming haven't had their happy ending yet because Emma & Henry are still in peril.

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Once Upon a Time Review: Smash the Mirror

Have to give props to the Costume Designer for creating such gorgeous white gowns for Ingrid that don't look like wedding dresses. Since Regina has had no flashback scenes to her Evil Queen time (because she's moving away from that persona), I've missed the dramatic black, red & purple creations she wore. And, Elsa is stuck in that blue gown because apparently, magic can't be used to whip up a new wardrobe for oneself. So, yeah - love the Snow Queen dresses & Elizabeth Mitchell. She is just gorgeous - all icy beauty.